Hello and welcome to Christmas Lost, Christmas Found.
While there is nothing new about a magazine publisher commissioning a
writer to create a serialized story, there are many other aspects of this
story which are quite unique.
To begin with, it has been created specifically for the World Wide Web,
so it has been designed from the beginning to be delivered
electronically. This may seem like a trivial thing, but I assure you it's
not. We've been able to create and deliver the story in a fraction of the
time it would take to create a print version of the same tale. Once we
begin publishing the story, we'll update it on a daily basis. Not bad
considering that New Scientist is a weekly magazine.
Secondly, it is interactive. The story follows two little girls (who live
in two different time periods) and a little book (which lives in both).
There is no single right way to read the story: start with one girl, or
the other or start with the book first. It's been designed with these
choices in mind; you decide which is correct. Click on a picture and
you'll get a full-size illustration. Underlined words will take you to
additional information. Using the computer, we can create a new kind of
The more astute reader will observe that The Twelve Days of Christmas
actually begin on Christmas Day, whereas our story culminates on
Christmas Eve. This is by design. January 5, the last of the 12 days, is
as undramatic as a date could be, while Christmas Eve (when our story
ends) is packed with emotion and drama. Also, it allows us to introduce
the last element that is unique to storytelling on the Web: your stories.
We want to populate the actual twelve days of Christmas (December 25 to
January 5) with your stories, memories and reflection. Since here we're
not constrained by a page count or the cost of paper, the audience can
become a part of the experience like never before. We invite you to join
That, in a nutshell, is what makes this story different. I hope that it
duplicates the qualities that make other stories good.